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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Journalists and  
   policy-makers take viewer questions; newspaper articles.  

    July 8, 2011
    7:00 - 10:00am EDT  

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it is today the house voted to limit on how the youth best could spend money on military efforts in the deal but rejected a measure to defund the entire operation. like house coverage at 9:00 a.m. eastern. the nasa space shuttle program is coming to an end. in 45 minutes 45 stoppace of georgia -- scott hays of georgia mop -- washington university and mark matthews from "the orlando sentinel" will join us. they will talk about the nasa space program and the future of space flight. then everybody acknowledged we have to get this done before a hard deadline of august 2. >> house democrats are not supporting any cuts of benefits for social security and medicare. >> we are not going to raise taxes on the american people. we are not going to raise people on the very people we expect to reinvest in our economy and help grow jobs. [captioning performed by
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national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] host: good morning, it is friday, july 8, 2011. that was a glimpse of statements from three of the major players in the debt reduction discussion. and we are told that there is going to be funded meeting at the white house and until then aids and leaders will be working around the clock to strike a deal on what they are calling a grand bargain. they went for the largest of the package -- $4 trillion and proposed cuts. we know few details but already partisans on both sides are warning their party members about too many concessions. that is what we want to ask you this morning about the grand bargain on the debt and whether or not you would support it.
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let us know whether or not you think the leaders will reach a grand bargain on debt reduction. we look forward to hearing from you. good friday morning to you. lori montgomery is an economic policy reporter for "the washington post" and has been deeply involved in the coverage. a front-page story for the paper. your story contains some reporting about meetings that reporters were not privy to, discussions. what can you tell us about what is going on behind the scenes. what -- guest: what happened is how speaker boehner came over to the senate to brief republicans there.
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along with obama, boehner has become somewhat of a cheerleader for this grand bargain. our understanding there were no details discussed at the white house meeting yesterday. what seems to be on the table is the concept of a grand bargain. the idea of it. if people can wrap their heads around that and agree, i think they will still have to begin the hard work of cobbling it together. host: what do you know about the mechanics of the dealmaking between now and sunday when the president calls people back to the white house? guest: the white house staff are meeting with boehner's staff and they say they are also meeting with aides to mcconnell, senate minority leader, and democratic leaders. we are told that it is in little
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-- it is a little hard to know what to believe. if we are told that if in fact they agree they can reform entitlement programs like medicare and social security, even though these things are hugely popular and incredibly politically sensitive, we are told there are off the shelf ideas for improving their solvency that could be sort of plug and if they simply decide to do it. the harder, legislating piece of this, is how to handle taxes. because of any deal of that magnitude would require republicans to approve higher taxes. but they are not going to do it explicitly, they are going to agree to tax reform. that will not happen for the next couple weeks so we have to fit -- the have to figure out a mechanism to guarantee tax reform happen to the next year or so. host: we saw a man to pelosi's
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definitive statement about -- nancy pelosi's definitive statement about medicare and social security. what is the meeting about? guest: i expect it is about calming democrats. they are upset for two reasons. number one, medicare and so security is on the table and they worked hard to keep them off the table. democrats would like to campaign against the republicans on the paul ryan budget which basically eliminated medicare as an open-ended entitlement and they aren't nervous the whole grant marketing idea will get into the -- they're nervous the whole grand bargaining idea. now suddenly it is here back again. they are upset about that. whatever is going on here is clearly much more advanced between the white house and boehner than between -- than anywhere else.
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other leaders have been kept outside of that circle, it appears. host: quite a golf game. guest: and the white house has fences to mend calming the house democrats. host: it sets the stage for the discussion with our c-span viewers, who will be signaling the members of congress about how interested they are in their positions or finding agreement. thank you for telling us about what is going to be happening over the next couple of days in washington. lori chemung, reporting on it, you confined at washingtonpost.com. let's get to your comments. do you think it is important to find agreement on this and do you like that that they seem to be aiming bigger -- $4 trillion as opposed to the $2 trillion discussed of the past couple of weeks, which might involve
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social security and medicare reform and the other side, an overhaul of the tax structure of the country. that as hear what you think because ultimately you will be the ones sending the signal to washington. beginning with raleigh, north carolina. this is john, republican. you are on the air. caller: i believe which senator it was. i believe senator robinson -- robertson. may 23 he and 20 other senators sent a letter to the white house that the stated the the obama administration had not attended a budget yet in 754 days. so, you expect me to believe this administration is going to be negotiating in good faith when unfortunately, from what it looks like from all of the administrative back door of the constitution of the united states, i have to agree with congressman will send that we have a pathological liar as commander in chief. as a republican in, i would say
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do not increase the debt limit and just go ahead and insist on cutting and everything comes to a screeching halt, then we can look back at mr. obama's policies for the past two years and the increase in the deficit that he created and say, now you want to be a fiscal conservative, when it is becoming election time. i don't believe any single word coming out of the white house, especially with the work -- more i see -- atf, sdi. host: for john, it is definitely, no, he will not support a grand bargain. i next caller is james in minnesota -- jane, she is a democrat from minnesota. caller: i just feel there is no respect for the president of the united states anymore, and i support him, everything he is trying to do. he is busting his tail trying to get this country to come together.
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trying to get the other sides to talk to one another. it just seems like the republicans -- i am 70 years old. i have never seen such a mess and the political department of this country in my life. there is no respect for a president of the united states. it has never been like that ever. i had never seen the republicans act like they are holier than thou and they are in control of the tax. it is because the multimillionaires are paying them off billions of dollars so they will do what they are doing and not letting us tax them. tax the rich and leave my medicare and medicaid and my duty and my health plan -- so security, leave it alone. host: barry, independent. rockaway, minnesota.
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caller: good morning. you want to know as i support a grand bargain on the debt? yes, i do. but here is my idea. the 98% of us that do not controlled all of the wealth and need to give it all to the top 2% -- one day. no more arguing or complaining or playing a round. the next day we will just have the treasury department print new currency for the rest of us 98%. that way the top 2% can go cry somewhere else. they are about as useful -- i am not sure -- that would be the best grand bargain. host: from "the new york times" this morning. a spectrum of positions of the debt ceiling debate. the tableau across the top. senator jeff merkley, who a eliminates the tax breaks for the wealthy to generate more
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revenue, he is joined by bernie sanders, the president, ending tax breaks and cut spending on entitlement program, john cornyn and john mccain consider new revenue without raising taxes, the house speaker, cut spending and consider tax overhaul without raising taxes, senator mcconnell, trim federal spending, eric cantor, consider closing tax loopholes without raising new revenue, and jim demint, tom coburn, paul rand, mike lee and others, raised the debt ceiling only if a balanced budget amendment is passed. the search for a so-called grand bargain. from "the new york times" coverage. president obama plans to meet privately with nancy pelosi, suggesting the white house is turning its attention to sitting democrats. that laid the
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later on it says mr. obama and mr. boehner seem united to pursue as big a deal as possible. next is a call from clinton, new jersey. jean, a republican. caller: i think a great way to trim the budget would be the $1 trillion we spend on the war on drugs in the past 40 years, since president nixon started this. in fact, a representative steve cohen from tennessee on june 15 was very brave and stood up and gave a five-minute talk in front of the house of representatives and one -- went through what a failure of this has been. $1 trillion so far.
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for example, it is about $10,000 per marijuana arrest. new york city, which definitely has financial problems, 50,000 marijuana arrests over the past year. i know many states, including new jersey, have medical marijuana laws now but my governor will not enact the medical marijuana procedures that has been passed by the legislature because marijuana is scheduled i and he cannot get assurances from the justice department that state employees who are doing this health program will not be arrested. host: from new jersey, a way to cut the budget deficit. next is a call from baltimore. walter, independent. you are on the air. caller: truly independent. i do not follow blindly either party but definitely trying to
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find out why we are listening to the extremes on either side. compromise, ma'am, the center. i would like to consider myself center even though i have a little bit of left-leaning. the idiocy of not putting revenues on the table -- before you get to the 14th amendment you got the 11th amendment and the 11th amendment says that congress should, for the protection of the military and the general welfare of this nation, should enact taxes and tariffs to support this government. their salaries are guaranteed. their health benefits are guaranteed those clowns on the right don't just seem to understand it is not the left, it is not obama's budget, it is the united states budget. while they are waiting for the president to fail, this whole country is going to fail if they
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do not get off of their high horses and lobbyists back and get to work. they have done nothing but hate this president, as the earlier caller said, this respect the president and it is not an ideological thing, it is a shock thing -- they have a black president. let us get over it. i thank god for a stimulus program that got me back to work and i thank c-span. host: walter arguing on behalf of compromise. from twitter -- we are asking whether you would support a grand bargain on the debt, with the higher target estimated at $4 trillion in debt reduction. the paper suggest difficulty with that this morning. this is "the washington post." democrats say mindboggling idea by gop would cost jobs. from "the wall street journal,"
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entitlement cuts divided democrats. about the right way to approach the budget and the debt. detroit, democrat. go ahead, please. caller: well, president obama, everybody thinks he is so stupid but he knows that the republicans are not going to agree to anything so he is putting everything on the table and they will continue to say no, no. when we go into default, with a will, he will enact the 14th amendment under the constitution which is his right to do as president. you had timothy geithner talking about the 14th amendment. that is what i think he would do. we will go into default thanks for republic -- to republicans because they're saying no, they want the president to fail. they don't care about the country. they just want to be back in charge. host: the 14th amendment comes
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up a lot in the coverage. a congressional scholar has a piece in this morning's "the new york times." the debt ceiling weekend which away. he says the constitution and 14th amendment does not give an easy way out. " what he writes -- he suggests in this piece that the repercussions from the party would be very strong, and some people are even mentioning discussions of impeachment if
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the 14th amendment were in vogue. "the new york times" has an editorial on this. "negotiating on a knife's edge." here is a little of what they write -- after an hour or so of talks for a stay -- thursday, this is what
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they write. that is what "the new york times" says about the grand bargain concept. we're asking what you think of whether you would support it. minnesota today. pat, republican. caller: i do not agree with the grand bargain. i also want to commend you guys this morning. i saw the "news of the world" piece that you did with the bbc. host: we did not do it with them but the bbc gave us permission to show you their coverage. caller: i appreciate that. it exposes us to what is going on in britain, which i think affects us here.
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we have rupert murdoch controls news of but -- "news of the world," and he controls "wall street journal." it seems to me since he took over "wall street journal," it has kind of slanted, not doing the reporting that it used to do. the other issue i wanted to bring up and i'm wondering if down the road you can do the programming on it, i read that eric cantor in his investment portfolio is betting against the dollar. i don't understand, if you could do research and have somebody do a program about that. if the second highest ranking person in the house, how could you be betting against the dollar in your investment portfolio? i know his wife works for bank of america. but this is crazy. if you guys can look into that and maybe do a program -- and on the 14th amendment, and maybe
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invite someone to explain to us how the 14th amendment and the 11th amendment, so we can -- mostly i get my information from c-span and if you guys could go back to giving us information so we can make our own decisions i would really appreciate it. host: our producers are looking at a constitutional discussion, to understand all of the references to the 14th amendment and what powers it may in fact give the president and how it could possibly be used in the debt discussion. on rupert murdoch, he is all over the newspapers. "the financial times" this morning has this front-page photograph from the media conference. the move to cauterize u.k. hacking affair. this is what other headlines look like. besides this, and has a chart that connects the players,
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including the conservative party prime minister of britain who had hired one of the former editors of the news of the world as his communications chief, has since departed the post. he has the dots connect it with who is connected to home. "globe and mail" in canada, hacking scandal kills u.k. tabloid. from great britain, "the guardian," which has been very much involved in this scandal and reporting on it. the scandal that close the "news of the world." this woman right here, news international chief executive -- to quit. coulson to be arrested today -- the person i mentioned, who had been the newspaper editor, formally, and that of david cameron, prime minister director
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of communication. a lot going on in great britain with ramifications globally because of rupert murdoch's empire and the media. lagrange, texas. mike is up next as we talk about the grand bargain. caller: i don't really agree with the grand bargain. we are looking for all of these leopards in the republican party to change their spots. all we have to do is look at the three things that agreed with the president on since they had been reelected. he was held hostage to redo the bush tax cuts. they agreed -- let's send another 33,000 to afghanistan so we can spend dollars a gallon on gasoline of afghan people spend a dollar and 20 -- $1.20. it is ridiculous what we allow these people to get away with. and how many people -- i think there is 37% of this nation that
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consider themselves republicans now. i just can't believe there are that many stupid people in this nation. have a nice day, susan b. host: thank you. a headline in "the wall street journal." sara lee and janet hook. one note -- investors in u.s. treasuries are not betting a major deal will solve the u.s. debt situation. a tweet from peter hogan -- >> is clarksburg, west virginia. dispensed -- next is clarksburg, west virginia. spence. caller: i would like to say united we stand and divided we fall and we need to apply it to
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the government. we need to start with congress eliminating their little perks. some of the benefits we give to congress -- and the military men, paying them what they do, benefits for life, but when these clowns of their retired they carry a lifetime package with them. if we want to talk about deficit cuts, maybe we can close some of their niceties' -- some of their pools and showers. if they were serious about bet they would turn out the lights in some of the places in washington did but they are so out of touch they cannot think of things like that. and the more these parties decide to argue with each other, i think it is time for a flat tax and tax everybody fairly in the united states of america. every time there is something that has to be debated -- we have to go back to taxes. if we are taxing evenly and fairly we would not have the
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arguments and the politicians would not carry this over our heads either way. god bless you and it is really nice to see you after all these years continue to do a good job. host: thank you, spence. a tweet -- >> is jim watching us in georgia -- next is jim watching us in georgia. caller: thank you for cnn. the democrats have been there for two years, and it democrat president, and they did not do nothing much for the debt ceiling but they want to blame the republicans for what they want to do. i just wanted thank you and god bless america. host: jim from georgia. michael tweets us --
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asking whether or not you think that it is good for leaders to work on a grand bargain on the debt. a target of $4 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years. a reduction of the deficit is $4 trillion, the goal. maryland. george's and independent. caller: i am in support of a grand bargain if it is somewhere between the bulls-simpson commission, $2.50 of spending cuts for every dollar of revenue -- bowles-since then, something between that and the progressive plan, $1 of spending, $1 revenue. if it does not come out that way, it is capitulation, it is a shrinking of the job market and a betrayal of the national will.
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people one bowles-simpson or something better than that or we will risk cataclysmic economic outcome for no real reason other day and the racial animus and the political animus that still underlies our civic life tragically. god bless america. host: thanks for your call, george. "the washington post" editorial is in favor of a big compromise on the deal.
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here is how they conclude -- back to your calls. next is a mineral, virginia. jim is a republican. caller: i would just like to make a comment here. i don't think we can continue to go on with spending, spending, spending, borrowing money and spending. you can't do that in your home life. if we need a balanced budget requirement. the citizens and have absolutely no control over the
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amount of money you take from us. i am a 77-year-old citizen and my taxes are just putting me in the ground. we have to get rid of that. we have to get back to insurance, flat tax -- and i am a great supporter of the republican party now and the tea party. i used to be a democrat but no longer. it is too much of a giveaway program. thank you very much. god bless america. host: baltimore. dorothy, a democrat. go ahead. caller: good morning. yes, i listened to your show each day and i think it helps a lot of people in how they feel and how they vote. host: thanks for watching. >> yes. -- caller: yes. and i love your show. in the meantime i am calling about social security and all of
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the people that are on social security should wake up and watch how the white house handled social security, because social security has been around for years. i don't know how much longer. but i am on social security. i worked hard, and people who are retired, we depend on that money for social security. here is my advice for democrats sitting in the white house and the republicans, you have to watch cutting social security or touching it. if you will not get and those seats touching social security. and mr. manor, whatever his name is, he is riding high and has a big salary and each one of them setting up their driving four or five cars and the rest of us are barely making it so you better watch poor. host: and dorothy's message about watching social security and next year's elections is being echoed by moveon.org,
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their reference -- a reference and "usa today" on their story. it closes this way -- they are doing this on their website. this is their home page. they are asking people to share a facebook survey. here is what it says. if barack obama cut social security to pay for bush tax cuts for millionaires, i won't ever give his campaign another dime. reposed if you agree -- repost if you agree. back to twitter. next is vermont. richard is a republican.
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caller: i would just like to offer some facts to the debate. in 2003, according to the office of management and budget figures, we took in 1700 $82 billion, in 2008 we took in 2005 region 22 $4 billion -- 29% increase. the bush tax cuts did not cost anybody anything. they helped the country. that a bit of the conversation does not hold water. people concerned about touching social security -- if you are already on it, you have nothing to think about. none of the proposed changes will affect anybody who is older than 55. just relax about that. it seems like a lot of folks are letting emotion color their thinking instead of taking a hard look at the facts. thank you very much. host: >> it is huntsville, alabama. this is bobby who is a democrat.
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-- next is hunter mill, alabama. caller: social security, and medicare and all has not added 1 cent to the debt. it is a separate thing and it should not be touched because it has not added anything to the debt. and if you would think back, the republicans have been against social security since the start. they have tried to kill it, try to kill it, tried to kill it. let's don't cut something that has nothing to do with the dead. let's go out to the stuff that increases the debt -- for example, the army, whatever, used to do their own cooking. now they pay outside people to come in and coke -- cook and pay unreasonable prices.
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let's cut stuff like that that really adds to the debt. don't cut something that has nothing to do with the debt. host: melissa e on twitter has a different comment on social security. in "the baltimore sun" this morning about the politics on this. politically large-scale agreement could benefit both obama and house speaker john boehner. he said there was a 50-50 chance there was a deal -- would be a deal after a closed-door meeting. caller: the debt ceiling goes right back to the fact that we don't have enough jobs to create revenue in this country. they keep talking about --
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host: the new jobs numbers are coming out this morning at 8:30, a lot of attention focusing on that after last month's disappointing numbers to see if it recovered or see if there is a turnaround. i want to show you pictures from nasa. later on we will spend the rest of the program talking about the final space shuttle mission -- looking back at the goals of the past 30 years, how much cost us to do it. what the investment was and what kind of return. you see the lineup of astronauts as they make their way to the shuttle. the weather has been dicey. there has been some talk about whether it will be able to go off. corpus christi, texas. arthur is a republican. caller: thank you. i always get nervous when i call
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you guys. so, please, bear with me. host: you do not sound a bit nervous. caller: back in the 1990's when i was in my 40's i figured out my retirement plan, which i was going to work until i drop. and i became disabled, and i have been disabled for 11 years. this talk about cutting social security and medicare -- you know, it is ridiculous. why big money always have to throw the burden on the backs of the poor. and i know people who will end up out on the streets if they go through with any major cuts in these programs. there is a lot of waste in these
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programs that could be taken care of. the hierarchies and government -- in government, that just will not let go. it seems like a couple of years ago there was a debate that drag on for months -- that was about health care. now we have another debate is dragging on for months, and now it is the deficit. it is like we are all being deceived. i don't go for conspiracy theories, but it is like our attention has been dragged away from something else that is really going on. host: arthur from corpus christi, texas. next is jackie who is a democrat
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from indianapolis. caller: good morning para you know -- good morning. you know, i have been watching politics ever since obama was an office and it appears to me, it does not matter what he does, he can't do anything right. as it relates to all of this talk about social security and being labeled as an entitlement, i don't understand that because i have worked all of my life. and that is my money, the way i look at it, because i pay social security taxes. how is it an entitlement if it is mine? i have a selection -- suggestion. how about everybody who paid in social security get their money back and then do what the republicans -- whatever their solution is for solving all of the other debt problems. the way i understand it, i pay into it, my employer pays equally what i pay, and if i did
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that for 30 or 40 years, how can anybody label that as an entitlement? thank you. host: mentioning the jobs report. here is a story about it in "the washington post." economists hope the figures will show the spring slump is not a trend. gaithersburg, maryland. sean, independent line. good morning.
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caller: thank you very much for c-span and all that you guys do. i wanted to drill down a little bit on the debate, the actual issues. i think when the issues i see in my opinion is that politicians have been using this sort of divisive argument and divisive politics to sort of been looted the american public thinking there needs to be granted drastic decisions. i think it would be a much better situation is the american people would embrace a more moderate approach and demand moderation from their representatives. because people got so wrapped up being on one side or the other, i think because of the people, holding politicians to the fire in terms of accountability for moderation. accountability for their own party's views -- i think it is helpful to the debate and the country. i think the american people generally would look at a moderate opinion and to try to
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embrace them. i think we would see ourselves getting a lot farther because they would not be afraid to lose the political capital. host: >> it is hot springs village, arkansas. john is a republican -- next is from hot springs village. caller: the rich do not pay their full amount. a perfect example is president obama. he made $1.7 million last year, he is in the 36.9% tax bracket and the only pay 22.6%. he dated, as your guest yesterday -- not really evasion, avoidance, legally he evaded paying $283,000 in taxes. that $283,000 of loan would pay saw -- entire social security for a year for 17.5 seniors and
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paid for 185 seniors full medicare payment for the year or 2227 seniors -- he could have paid their medicare payment for one month. you know, we have a tax structure -- 28, 36.9%, but people are not paying that. myself, i only paid 3.5% of my gross to the federal government. host: how do you do that? caller: item as asians, exemptions and deductions and taking business expansions -- ation. host: do you support a flatter tax? caller: i think if everyone would pay 5% of their entire gross the to the federal government -- 2.5% from the state, you would have all the money in the world. then you have to say we need a balanced budget amendment -- if you have $100 you cannot spend
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$137. it is common sense. it really is about how much taxes and you would take from the ridge -- democrats paying 50 percent because they want to pay more. that republicans pay 25% -- and that the independents who cannot decide what they are, pay 37.5, the top rate -- so we would all be happy. host: john, thanks, from arkansas. familygardner from twitter -- south carolina. robert is a democrat. caller: we live on through our posterity and we, the 65-plus age group are supposed to be comfortable when they say they will not touch our social security, but what are we supposed to do when they throw our children under the bus?
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i have four children, all over age four, except one, and they have nothing to look forward to. that is my comment. host: a couple of other news. lawmakers asked justice for data about justice kagan.
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back to phone calls on a grand bargain concept. middletown, conn. shelley, republican. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i don't think we need another grand bargain or a comprehensive solution for the debt crisis. in a way, i feel and the last couple of days our eyes are being taken off the target. the administration has brought in social security as a red herring. social security is currently stalled and. it is not adding to the national debt at all and will not for the next 10-plus years. what we need to be talking about now is cutting the federal government, making smaller government, and really looking at where the government is overspending -- not looking at something that is actually a pool they are borrowing from
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right now. host: kansas city, kansas. lane, an independent is up next. can you mute your tv? i can hear it in the background. caller: i don't think we need any type of brand marketing whatsoever. i agree with the united states treasury department, which is, if everyone in the united states would pay their fair share of taxes we would not be in this position today. and i suggest we all americans pay a fair share in the future. host: firstprimary -- and house rejects bids to halt funding of libyan mission. the house rejected a measure that would have withdrawn funding for military operations
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in libya. hot that is from "the washington post" this morning. at the next topic of on the legacy of the space shuttle on this, the final launch day. stopped pace from george washington university and scott matthews from "the orlando sentinel" and has been covering this. michigan, stephen is a republican. caller: good morning. i just wanted to say that this grand bargaining sounds like some kind of a -- i don't know -- deal made somewhere, i don't
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know. i am tired of this president giving up everything to please multimillionaires. this is enough. they don't want to pay for the war. they don't want to pay for anything. in this country, the largest economy in the world, i think we can afford to build our own stuff, make our own stuff, put our own people back to work. alls i got to say, you want to save this country, you better start buying american because these other countries, they are loading us money but what are you going to wind up with? we are going to be owned by china, run by the chinese? what do you think the standard of living in this country is going to be then? nobody wins. you better start buying american. that is all i got to say. thank you.
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host: womenworkusa tweets -- a couple of minutes left on the concept of a grand bargain being struck by the leaders of both sides. binghamton, new york. frank is an independent. caller: i just wanted to say you can listen to the frustration of the basic american people, the way the politicians are dealing with the problems we have in this country. they are not really listening to the people. and the fact they have been deceived by not only the politicians, but especially the president, and having open government, and really a true compliance with the will of the people, it is just very, very frustrating. and i think that the only change will come about is if we have a revolution in the streets. sorry to say that, but i think it is true.
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host: americanhero tweets -- we keep hearing about the rich not paying anything but the data is completely opposite. next, on the line for democrats. caller: it is another decollate that we don't understand. give us the information we need as far as social security. it has -- social security has always been separate. they took from social security to pay for it somebody else. we have got to save america. we have got to get out of these wars, save our young people going over there, losing their lives -- for what? to come back and find us in a war with citizens?
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and our government? we are losing faith in our government. we got to get back to the basic -- and if we love america of we've got to get on our knees and say, god, we love america, help us save it. that is all we got to say. host: robin from detroit. as we close out this discussion we will move on to our look at the space shuttle program, on this, the anticipated final mission launch day. over 30 years, the united states has invested $113.7 billion and the space shuttle program. you are watching the astronauts as they travel to the white room to prepare for lunch. we will talk to two guests, and most of all, you, what the united states got a good return on and the investment and what the future of the u.s. space program should be. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3, early american history professor christina snyder on first encounters between native americans, europeans, and africans in the new world. harvard university professor on
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the role of african-american soldiers during the civil war. and roger shimamora recalls his childhood in an internment camp and how is it art shows ethnicity, race, and a japanese- american experience. the complete weekend schedule act c-span.org/history. >> think how privileged we are to serve here and have the most insisting legal issues of our times come to this court. in this week marks the 30th anniversary of president reagan that a nomination of a sudden the o'connor as the first woman supreme court justice. watch her appearances including oral arguments, at the c-span video library. search, watch, clip, and share. >> who is really going to get fired up over nancy pelosi, on the one hand, were john boehner on the other? they are shorthand for the
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incredibly narrow range of choice that we actually had in the elected officials. >> in "the declaration of independents," reason tv and -- his takes on the two-party system and possible solutions. >> c-span has launched an -- a new easy to navigate web site for politics in the 2012 presidential race. with the latest c-span events from the campaign trail, by all information on the candidates, twitter feeds and updates, and links to c-span media partners in the early primary and caucus states. visit us at c-span.org /campaign2012. >> "washington journal" continues. host: on this friday you are looking at live pictures from nasa to become of the crew from the final space shuttle mission
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makes its way in preparation for the stock. it is somewhat a dicey situation because of the weather. but either today or the next couple of days, it is anticipated the 30-year old space shuttle program will cease. we have two special guests at the table. scott pace, george washington university's space policy institute director, and mark matthews, he writes about the space program and policy out of washington for "the orlando sentinel." reflections -- let me start with you -- this historic final day. what are you thinking about as the space shuttle program comes to an end? guest: when i was a young engineer and i could walk out on the shop floor and watch the machining -- i still had to go back to my desk and push paper but it was still cool to see that. i am actually both clad and sad that it is happening -- glad and
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sad. sad because it is an end of an era but i think after the columbia accident the right decision was made. that we've needed to complete the space station but then wrap up and move on. host: you have been covering the debate. president george w. bush announced the program was ending but there was a great deal of discussion in congress. russia will now be the leader in space for the sometime foreseeable future because they are still involved in their lead on the orbiting space station. also for your home town paper area -- loss of jobs. how do you put a ribbon around all of that and tell us about the discussion about the ending of the program guest: there might be argument in nasa that russia would be the world leader, but it is true ratio will be the one launching astronauts to the international space station -- at a hefty price tag and for the
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foreseeable future. with nasa right now, they are at the most difficult crossroads of their 50-year history right now. the future is uncertain. how exactly to replace the space shuttle is uncertain and whether it will be affected is uncertain. as for central florida right now, the kennedy space center is set to lose about 7000 jobs when the program ends. which, right now, as folks in florida dairy board about decimating the local economy. scott and i have been talking earlier about this, that you are losing a significant number of high-paying jobs in central florida from this area. and what happens afterwards is a major concern. >> florida, one of the three top state's most hit by the real estate downturn in 2008. guest: something that we were discussing is it has been a double whammy. you had the housing bubble already hitting the lord, and,
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two, you have this loss of high- paying jobs. the worst job in america right now may be a realtor in merritt island, florida. host: lots of ways to be involved for the audience -- twitter, our phone lines, which we will put on the screen. we also put up a facebook discussion on our facebook page and will work in some comments. if you are on facebook you can add it to your list. back in 1981, this is some video of the very first shuttle launch in april of 1981. as we look at that, tell us what the initial goals were for the space program as it first was launched. guest: the first thing to remember is when the shuttle was flown in 1981, that was the first return of u.s. astronauts to space and about six years.
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the last mission had been apollo-soyuz. and a vehicle loan was really the test flight -- they put a two-man crew aboard the vehicle on the very first launch. one of the most audacious test flight in history. host: we will get the video and maybe we will be able to show that. how many shuttles altogether? guest: 5. .
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>> a lot o the goals previously made. the shuttle was able to accomplish things people never thought it would. i think overall, it might be fair to say that this country
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has had a love/hate relationship with the space shuttle. host: more from you. >> i absolutely agree. one of the things i teach my classes is how they made the decision in a poor way. they focussed on cost and didn't focus on what you were going to do with that vehicle. this was less attention with the abilities and a large fixation on getting down to low cost which drove you toward very unrealistic flight rates in order to get the program approved. a really clear headed policy decision was not really made back then. the shuttle suffered. it is exceeded what it was to do technically. it failed economically. i would argue those economic
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objectives were the wrong questions. host: what would have been the right question? guest: that would have been what is the role of space post apollo? to focus exclusively on cost benefit on something as complex as space flight i think was a mistake. host: we are looking at pictures of nasa tv. that's historic video there. the launch is set for 11:26 eastern time. it's 70/30 percent chance of moving forward. 70% chance it might not because of storms. yesterday, there were lightening hits in that facility. they are moving ahead, as you'll see from nasa tv with the preparations.
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let's move to the future. you said that's the right question. i want to show a couple of facebook comments. >> on facebook, wow, 30 years. >> sad it is ending and there's nothing in the works to replace it. >> let's listen to this exchange. >> now what we need is that next technological breakthrough. we are still using the same models for space travel that we used with the apollo program 30, 40 years ago. what we've said is rather than keep on doing the same thing, let's invest in basic research that can get us places faster,
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allow human space flight to last longer and what you are seeing now is nasa i think redefining its mission. we've set a goal. lets ultimately get to mars. a good pit spot is an astroid. we vpt identified one yet if people are wandering. let's strength the boundaries so we are not doing the same thing over and over. >> he unveiled his budget proposal that would cancel the con stillation program, the
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program set under president bush. he wanted to push nasa oven a new face of r&d research that could enable a mission to mars or some other destination. that decision obama truly wanted to push nasa away and a lot of folks in congress still wanted to see. from that point, there was a six or seven month debate. and embarking on a new path that would build a shuttle derived-type vehicle and keep the capsule. nasa is working on the finer points of that rocket design. the debate of whether or not that is still feasible is still
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going. >> the representative from texas representing the 30th district in that state is the ranking deteriorate on the space science and technology committee and is on the line with us right now. could you tell us your thoughts on ending the shuttle mission. caller: good morning. well, it's a very emotional time to speak of anticipating something we have gotten so much from. however, we do have to look to the dollars and look towards the future. it's amazing what we have achieved with these space exploration programs. it is not really ending. we are entering into a new phase. we have to get ready for it. i can't even imagine us dropping it all together. we have so much invested. we have so much to look forward to in the future.
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we know that we can't afford to put as many dollars in as what is really needed right now to go immediately to the next phase. we will be preparing for the next phase. >> do you have policy objectives to how to direct those dollars? >> to do what? host: to how to direct those limited dollars? what are your major goals in what the country should do next? >> the first thing is to make sure we don't lose a lot of our talent, make sure we have a good vision. we can't see exactly what that will be because it is research. we don't know what the next phase will bring us. we do know what we have achieved. we know because of that, we cannot afford to walk away from a space exploration program all
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together. we are just -- we have planned on what the next phase should be in terms of where we are headed. i hope we will continue that. we have a lot of enthusiasm for the research and development of moving 23450 the next phase. we still have some relationship with our space station, with other countries. we have so much invested that we cannot afford to just walk away from the space program. >> thank you so much. since you'll be a key part that have debate, pressure perspective on this final launch day. thank you for spending time with us. >> thank you very much. host: the congresswoman is worried about america losing talent. >> she is right.
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talent is the most precious thing the community has. one of the thing that's causes a risk of talent is instability. if you look back at where we were, say, 30 months ago to where we are today. t plus 30 in the new administration, you find the industry is more stable. there's been testimony about that. they don't know what's next or what they'll be doing. you find there are international partners feeling unstable. you find that the congress is going through a difficult bipartisan discussion. the congresswoman is quite right. that money is tight but the nasa top line, i don't think is really the problem. the problem is the instability the program has suffered.
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host: we have a call from chicago on the democrat line. caller: i'm the most heart broken person in the world today. i was born in cape canaveral in 1950. my father was a sargent post world war ii. we were competing with susha, it wasn't science at first. army and air force were fighting over who had the air thing. we had the van dpaurd. the army won. they started nasa. it kills me to hear that the space station will go over to control russia.
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it's so disappointing to hear this. you go see cocoa beach. it looks like detroit. foreclosures everywhere. people already let go. why have a kid go to space camp? they might close that. the dream to save the world, to a lookout of that hubble telescope and to think the universe is so incredible. it is an anti-science movement when we had it all. host: i'll jump in there. you've given us some thoughts of nostalgia as well. guest: we were talking about this before we got on the program. it's amazing how much debate and
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focus goes into the budget that's only $17 billion or $18 billion, the reason is this symbolism of what nasa means to this country. for a very long time, nasa represents the spear point of the american society. the best of the best explorers and engineers. the best of the best visionaries planning the mission. when we are talking about nasa, we are talking about more than that. nasa has the burden of the american expectations on it. we start to wonder what is next for nasa, we don't know what's next. i wonder if we are asking what's next for this country? guest: i think that's right. there's the practical aspects of space. military, economics, scientific
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and there's also the other aspects. this administration has a different view about what it wants to transition to. that hasn't been communicated or been reassuring. you have this feeling that we are a bit adrift. there are things happening and coming next. there are the execution that has been lacking. >> with your practical application, spying, weather gathering, communication, that's why we have to have access. >> let's look at this titer comment. we've been talking about the strong government program. nasa is looking toward increased
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privatization. what's happening there? >> the overall plan that the administration has is that it would have commercial companies deliver cargo and crude to the space station so nasa itself could focus on longer range missions. going to the nearby astroid and the monday. space x in california become the first private company ever to launch a capsule into space and return it safely. that being said, no commercial company has yet been able to deliver cargo to the international space station. a resent report came out and said commercial companies were about two years behind schedule and $300 million overbudget to
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be able to accomplish these objectives. these doe lays are small peanuts when you look at the overall cost of nasa. nasa is trying to figure out how best to spend the money when folks are trying to cut anything not nailed down. >> maryland an independent there. caller: good morning. the future of nasa should concern itself with the propulson of technology. they were all discussed but they never evaluated to anything at all there should be a commitment to the man space program. further down the line, i would say that all the privatization
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going on should focus on getting to the moon with the intend of going to mars eventually. that's all i have to say. guest: the caller makes a good point. p proplusion technology is the consideration. we have to figure something out. part of the concern -- this is more of a practical earth bound concern. often times r&d money is viewed as a piggy bank. trying to put a lot of money into r&d is opening up to being rated by capitol hill lawmakers.
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it's very risky sometimes. host: do you agree? guest: that's part of it. we need to run a technology program directed towards missions. it's dangerous to have open ended technology not dedicated to future missions. you also have to have a transition plan to get you away from what you are doing now to what you are doing next. the administration is taken a very high risk and high payoff approach on this reliance of new technology. but to me, it's a very, very high risk approach. i would have preferred an approach that would have continued to use known technology and existing components and bringing in new
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technology and commercial systems on a more evolutionary way. administration has taken a more radical break with that past. >> the caller. his point of view. facebook writes unmanned craft do more work anyway. guest: the old humans versus robots debate is kind of gone. within the scientific community there is a few that both humans and robots have their place. they felt that if they had a geologist on site, they could have gotten things done faster. if your goal is only science, robots can do that. if you are exploring, humans are
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absolutely a part of that. it depends on when your goal is. if it is just science, then robots. more than science, humans have to be a part of it. host: on from north carolina. caller: good morning. i have a question -- host: you have your tv on in the background. caller: ok. the gentleman mr. pace, i think, said once the shuttles -- this is the last mission, we can settle on other things going to places like astroids and mars. with when is my question? why are we -- this is like giving up and taking a ride with
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your worst enemy. we used to be very proud. the united states was the first to do this. this was a great thing. i don't care which administration decided to shut it. i'm a republican. if we started it, somebody has to start it back up again. we have the money we need. we don't need to spend money drilling for oil in brazil. give it to nasa and let them kin. host: thank you. one statement from wall street journal. guest: i confess to being very sim pathetic with that caller. if you know me, you know i'm not
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a supporter of the current approach. i thought that would be the replacement for the shuttle with the consolation program, we would have the opportunity to bring in more providers. in concert with the government lead and government owned system. with that cancellation, the caller is correct, it is not clear what it is we are going to be replacing it with. that leaves us dependent on commercial riders who are very capable. that leads us to being reliept on the russians which makes not only us nervous but all our other international partners nervous. this is not a criticism of the russians. we would not have been able to maintain, our partners were nervous when they are reliant
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solely on us. in space, it is always wise to have a back up plan. with the kwan sellation and uncertainty in the system and crew service replacements, we potentially don't have clear back up plans. that makes me nervous as well. >> >> good morning. i enjoy the show and the discussion. i'm a little annoyed by some of what i've heard there have been eight presidents since nixon. and now it falls into obama's lap to fix this problem with the space shuttle program being completely unsustainable. the same thing is true of this debt that is accrued over the last eight presidents. it is up to mr. obama to solve this problem as well. we have people talking about we
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need smaller government, we need to cut spending. this is what it looks like. this is not just poor people out on the street, it's valuable programs that gives birth to a lot of technologies that benefits our lives being cut. thank you grover and voters of 2010. this is what happens. >> connie writes, what did it accomplish anyway. no, we are not the jetsons. >> i'm less certain about the medical accomplishments. i want to go back to something the caller asked about about
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what is next. we vpt explained what is coming up? what is going to happen in the next several years. last fall, congress launched a bill to set nasa on a course to build a new rocket that would be shuttle derived. the design will look very much like the shuttle on the pad today with one exception that you are going to have the or bitter. instead, you'll have a cap sul on top of the tank. that's the general configuration. the nasa vehicle and commercial folks will be in charge of the international space station. the worry is whether or not this new rocket will have the money to be able to accomplish what this money is set out to do.
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in january this year, nasa wrote congress and said we cannot build the rocket you want -- congress wanted something by 2017. this has amounted to a big, nasty battle over whether nasa can actually do this. in some sense, they are correct in saying not being able to do this. if you are looking at the funding profile over the next five years, this program would get $14 billion. that's less money than what consolation would have gotten. as the 2009 commission pointed out, one of the reasons con stillation failed is it didn't get the funding promised. congress is looking to a repeat of history that's already failed once. secondly, budget problems are
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not all congress's fault. nasa itself has had budget problems over years, costover runs and technical problems. there's a reason nasa has been on high risk list of public contemplators. those two factors, the less funding than anticipated coupled with nasa's propensity to break its own budget has a lot of folks very skeptical over whether the u.s. can put astronauts in a space craft any time in the next decade. >> i would like to tell you more about scott pace. i'll listen to the current nasa administrator and talk to you about your comments. >> deputy chief of staff, served as chief technology in nasa's office of space administration
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and the administrator and evaluation from 2005-2008. phd from the rahm graduate school. on july 1, the current administrator talking at the national press club in washington. >> as a former astronaut and current nasa administrator, i'm here to tell you, we'll continue for at least the next half century. we've laid the foundation for success. for us at nasa, failure is not an option. we have the opportunity to raise the bar and demonstrate what humans can do if we are challenged and inspired to reach out for something just out of our grasp but not out of our
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sight. host: to you. guest: i think he's been given a difk that is very, very difficult they gave the agency the moon, while very, very difficult is within reach. when we talk about go to mars or astroids, i don't believe, there will be a major productivity. >> the cost is too high, this is
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too difficult. the reasons for doing it are interer national. bringing the russians into the space station program is the way they symbolized the relationship with russia. we know john kennedy went to the moon in part. how do we integrate and engage. not on the space station but on the next journey. this viewer who tweets to us, mission to march will reveal -- indicate future leadership. guest: the problem is trying to go directly to mars is going from the first fly to the apollo program. you need a training ground in
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between. the competition is old think. the real challenge is how do we bring other emerging space spou powers into the game. the real space thinking is going on in asia. host: is that china? guest: china. india, japan. that's where we should be looking. host: next caller is bernie from new jersey. good morning. caller: good morning. your two guests are excellent. gives me a good perspective on everything. what scares me is there are no plans and no goals. the no goal part scares me as someone that has grown up with this space program at age 59. i think it is bad planning by
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this administration. i understand the professor saying we have to set our goals to what we are doing next. if we look at the government like your heart. we have arteries going out and veins coming in. if you are out sourcing, you are getting new technology in all the time. there's a lot that has made our life better through the space program. not just the goal of going to mars or whatever. thank you. very interesting discussion you are having. host: thank you. here is a question on facebook from paul. since the columbia accident, nasa has always had a second shuttle on the pad to perform a second rescue if needed, is it not in place for this launch? guest: it is not in place. this launch was intended to be a rescue mission for the second to
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last shuttle mission. this was some debate about what would happen if something were to happen to atlantis when it launches today the discussion was this the four there on atlantis would find their way home host: crowds are gathering. you can see rain or shine, hubbeds or thousands, estimates put the crowds close to 1
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million. dozens are already in town including the first shuttle pilot who opened the aaron columbia in 1981. >> he was absolutely a pioneer, later what came be important aboard the international space station space has benefited to gain technology and medical research. if you crawl under the or bitters today you find a lot of
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empty spaces near the nose host: thank you for your time today. we've been awaiting the new jobs numbers. it is key to the discussion a slower space than may unemployment rate is rising to 9.2%. >> there's a lot of discussion about the states where the shuttle program has been
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frequent. caller: would you repeat the question. we had it on speaker phone. host: the question is about the affect of the end of the program on your state. guest: the shuttle has been the work horse. it has done more things for technology probably than any other programs than united states has embarked on with the possible exceptions of the manhattan project and sat urn 5 project that got us to the moon. >> what's your direction, sir? guest: i'm going to promote nasa as much as i probably can. we have a selling job. i'm not sure that the public understands the spin off that occurred because of the program. it could be life saving defib
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lators. it could be lasers or computers >> all of those could advance the human condition around the world giving the advantage that has allowed us to compete with better products and proi duce more jobs and strengthen the economy. host: you feel this is an investment worth making for the country. guest: we have to spend money or these programs or do we want to spend our scares traction dolla dollars. national science foundation, advancements in basic science, things like nasa that produce
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excellence for our country but also with the spin offs associated with that. i'm one looking towards the future. i want us to invest as much as we can in the kinds of things over the long haul can advance the nation. >> do you have a policy in mind. do you prefer man or unmanned flights or space stations of the future. which direction are you headed from a policy area. >> that's an important point. the white house has effectively kill kill killed constilation. we'll now have to thumb a ride with the russians. going into the future, congress has insisted that certain money be spent on the heavy lift
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vehicle, which would enable us to go beyond low earth or bit. that's what we wanted. that's our intent. unfortunately, the white house has a different view. i hope that we can continue to have manned space flight. there's no profit in the commercialization of manned space flights. any of the materials i've participated in or that i need to read. it is like nasa to take the lead and be the work horse. it's done a great job for america for five or six decades. >> congressman, we have mark matthews here who has a question for you guest: certainly guest: i was hoping you could go back to the point you made earlier about the economic implications of nasa having a new program.
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talking about technological spin offs. with the current plan and constilation relying on 30-year technology from the space shuttle, what kind of spin offs do you see from that. constant criticism from nasa is that it is white collar welfare. what will come from what we have been doing since the 1970s. those who think that nasa's white color welfare have not been paying attention or done their homework. >> as you can imagine from my response, i am a strong supporter of the nasa program. i grew up with sat urn 5 being tested. that's the rocket that got us to the moon a few miles from our house. i remember the earth shaking and
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us having to make sure our dishes and cabinets didn't fall out. also remember the pride i had in america with neil armstrong stepping down on the moon in 1968, 1969. i think it was 1969. in any event, what we have to do is establish emission. low-earth or bit, fine. we can do that. we have a space station. that ought to be a minimal goal. to me, moon and mars exploration. perhaps going to astroids. advancing the human condition and human knowledge. then technology is developed to accomplish that. it's like going to the moon in the 1960's or developing the space shuttle in the 1970s and launching in the 1980s. it wasn't until you had the decision -- host: congressman? are you still there.
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i apologize. he was talking about starting the mission first. take us back to the comments you made earlier. guest: it is really difficult to design your programs and think about what technologies you need and where you are going and why you you are going. again, we have been really more in favor of the lunar mission return over the international basis challenging of what we can be done. i'd like to add to some of the response of what was coming out of the previous efforts. it was not to rebuild what we had started before. progress had been made in reducing the amount of man power necessary. there's a whole bunch of very
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nerdy discussions on friction stair welding and robot tick assemblies and so forth. the main thing was building actual hardware was really crucial. that hands on experience will be developing, testing, flying and not just doing it on paper. that's a new of insights and how you improve upon what these productions are like, the solid rocket motors was like. some of the things i worry about in the complete reliance of the commercial sources is nasa and the industry partners may be losing some of these hands on skills they need in development and test line. again, we learn by actually doing. not just talking about it. >> we end at 9:00 eastern. the house is in session early today. the space shuttle launch is set for 11:26 eastern time.
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they continue preparations toward count down. jfk is turning over in his grave buts this is ending. >> looking at twitter comments. >> the question for you it will serve as a discussion point. american hero writes, why don't we sell the space shuttles on e bay. i'm sure they are worth something. what will become of the shuttles? guest: they'll go to different museums throughout the country. there was a bidding war in congress to see which state would get each one of the shuttles. you would have some members to
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show up to hearings who frankly never really came them often, would drop in five minutes and say my state needs the space shuttle and then leave again. there was a lot of debate about it. the shuttles are going to -- there's going to be one in florida. there will be one going to the air and space museum in washington, d.c. the third is california. they are spread across the country. that lead to some degree of howling from texas being the home of the space program and being the home of johnson space center, they should have one. host: next call from arkansas. brian is a democrat. good morning.
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are you there? caller: i want to agree that texas should have a space shuttle. i would have to drive to florida to visit with my kids. my question is with so many r&d cuts being made, what is it we are skipping out on now? maybe this will give american taxpayers the fight. what type of things are we scrapping in order to save money? are we still interested to learn more about deep space or is it all basically bars and we'll worry about deep space later on because we don't have money for it. >> one of the stories i don't think has been well appreciated is since 1988, the u.s. has been buying and relying on plutoniun 88 coming from russia. we've been using that in some of
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our space probes in part because we thought it would be bet for buy that and getting out of russia. that source is now largely gone. there's enough for one more deep space flagship mission. after that's over, it's gone. there's been an effort with nasa and the department of energy for several years now to restart the production of plutoneun to reach the solar powers of the sun. that's failed. we now don't have a domestic source. we are out. one of the una appreciated points is that we are not sending a mission to mars unless we have a u.s. source of this.
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host: the final shuttle flight is shuttle atlantis. we have video of a flight it took in 2009. it has travelled 120 million miles. 293 days in space. it's made 4600 or bits over 32 different flights. >> what modifications were made to the later shuttles after the two accidents? guest: after the loss of challenger, the solid rocket motors were completely redesigned. that was what lead to the failure in challenger. in the case of the columbia sdenlt. the major change with procedural. when the space shuttle gets to or bit, it is intensely inspected and surveyed and
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looking for damage and pitting. if there are any problems, they have the option of repairing them or staying at the space station. i think what is also more important, the result of both missions result in important policy changes. in the aftermath of challenger, we decided to take off shuttles. after columbia, a more fundamental question is asked, for what purpose is risking human life worth while. the discussion was low or bit was not what we needed to doing there needing to be a human exploration to justify the risks of sending humans. >> houston chronicle front page
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today, host: to corpus christi, texas on the republican line. good morning. caller: is this c-span? host: it is. go ahead. caller: i enjoy c-span. in our history, americans were here to be free. we should be free to be in space without any country involved. but i think the world should get together to put their money together to go together to mars.
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join in their funds and technology and talents and he had indicated people and get them together in one group instead of being just nasa and america because we want to be number one in the world. we have to join the other kwoirpts to be able to survive. host: let's get i current response about the sentiments in washington about cooperation rather than competition. guest: there is some support for that idea. president obama has talked some about that cooperation. nasrallah has been used as a soft power. during the kennedy administration, it was us against the russians. some type of international mission to the moon or beyond could be a type of soft power to symbolize that america wants to be a team player with the rest of the world.
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there are still concerns about it on capitol hill most particularly with china. there has been adamant stance against any cooperation with china many come eagers on the hill share that sentiments. we might not see cooperation with china for a long time. host: here's a tweet. host: we are talking with mark
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matthews and scott pace about the future of the spa program. we'll go to jeff on the line. caller: thank you for your panel being there this morning and giving their expertise. one of the things that is really bother so many, we talk about out sourcing this stuff. we tend to loose a sense of the expert he's if you don't have hands on. where's the value in out sourcing all of this. that's my question this morning. host: scott? guest: the government alone can't do everything. you want the government to be a smart buyer. the way the science community has been smart, they always try to have at least one space craft being built in-house. at least one will be in-house
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making sure there's expert he's inside the government. the same could be done with the human space flight program. the bulk of the work could be done outside. you want to have a little bit of the development work. the question is what's that balance. how much should be kept out. what are the core skills you want the government to be able to do. when administration talks about nasa being primarily a technology organization. i worry you loose some of the hands on skills to be a buyer. host: 11:26 lift off. we'll continue taking your calls then. let me put some statistics back on the screen we started with.
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six shuttles all together. 134 missions. $450 million permission. cost from 1971 to 2010, $113.7 billion. total flight time, 13316 days, 20958 or bits of earth. back to phone calls in illinois on the republican line. caller: i would love to be able to travel into space. i believe as long as that access is restricted to government owned and launched vehicles, that will never happen. so why not instead of funding a
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program which has sometimes referred to as the senate launch system, take those resources and aggressively support the cuts to buildup our private and commercial cape abilities. thank you. host: what about private individuals flying into space? guest: the caller is right. manufacture us likely won't make it into space. he and i would probably have to hit the lottery not once but twice in order to have the money to pay for private space travel. there have been some space tours over the years but it is only been a handful. there had been a push by some companies to open up space to space tourism. one of the folks leading the charge here is robert bigelo who
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has this concept of creating inflatable space station that's you would launch into space, blowup like a balloon and bring people up there and have them float around for a while. they are going to say they are trying to offer an opportunity for other international space powers. there is a push for that. some things but again, buy a couple lottery tickets and you might have a better chance. host: are you a fan of space tourism? guest: i think it would be beneficial for the country. the question is should u.s. taxpayer dollars be used to cry and create this space tourism?
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it's like do we spend tax dollars to create a cruise tourism industry? the immediate task the systems have in front of them to justify public monies is supporting the international space station. that's roughly $150 billion facility. the reason this final shuttle mission is going is because there were delayed in commercial cargo systems. one of the things that this mission is critical for is stockpiling and resupplying 9 station with enough spare parts and instruments such that while we are in the gap between the end thf program and whatever comes next that the station will have whatever parts and components. because of the slowness, this mission is absolutely necessary.
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>> this woman writes on facebook this statement. i'll ask you about women and space careers during this program guest: nasa has played p rolls o not only women but minorities. they opened up rolls to minority engineers in the deep south in the 1960's, both minorities and women. this is a crucial way that more people had an opportunity to contribute to this country. there are lots of women involved
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in leadership roles in nasa today and in the scientific community. there's a conference of the number of women involved in the mars program. i'm not sure why that is. it seems to be popular. host: that's it for our time today. we used a lot of facebook comments. our facebook page is still open. go to facebook.com/c-span. let me say thank you to our two guests dr. scott pace from george washington university here in the district. mark matthews cover washington and space policy for the orlando
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sentinel. . . [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker: the house will be
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in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. god of the universe, we give you thanks for giving us another day. as the members of this people's house deliberate these days, give them the wisdom and -- to lay aside to give us a free country. we pray for all people who have special needs. may your presence be known that they are sick that they may feel the power of your healing spirit. be with those who suffer persecution in so many places of our world, and bless our troops who are engaged in the easing of those sufferings. give to all who are afraid or anxious or whose minds are clouded by uncertain futures the peace and confidence that come from trust in your goodness and mercy. we thank you, again, for the tremendous opportunity you have given the members of this house to serve their fellow citizens.
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inspire them to be their bestselves and may they be in turn an inspiration to the world. may all that is done here this day be for your greater honor and glory. amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentleman from louisiana, mr. fleming. mr. fleming: please join me in the pledge. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to five one-minute requests on each side. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. -- the speaker: without objection. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, this morning's announcement of the unemployment rate proves again the president's economic policies are failing american families. the unemployment rate has reached a tragic 9.2%. the out-of-control borrowing and spending in congress continues to kill small business creation. it's been one year since the president declared an end to the recession and the beginning of the summer of recovery. the only way to describe the country's job numbers during that time is a failure of leadership. private unemployment is now 1.8 million below the level from when the wasteful stimulus passed. where are the jobs, mr. president? this administration's policies are crippling our economy and killing job creation. the president's re-election campaign says the unemployment rate does not matter but american families know better. the house republicans' cut and
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grow plan is simple. first cut spending, then, the economy will grow. this is a practical solution to get americans back to work. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: mr. speaker, i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. kucinich: congress is awakening to matters of war and peace. in the past two months we start the great debate on war and war powers, the complications which will be felt in this nation and around the world. soon, the war in libyan and the ongoing wars in iraq and afghanistan will go beyond foreign policy issues. they will become financial security issues. as we continue to wage these wars more and more americans will become aware that this administration has decided that bombing bridges in other countries is more important than building bridges in america.
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with our present and new foreign ventures, america under this administration chooses war, not jobs and wealth building here in america, bombs, not books. austerity, not prosperity. this isn't about partisan politics. this is about administration that's demonstrating more interest in nation building abroad and not here at home. it's time to change, but will it? the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from louisiana. mr. fleming: i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. fleming: mr. speaker, americans deserve to know the truth when it comes to the supreme court justice elena kagan's involvement in crafting a defense of obamacare during her tenure as solicitor general for president obama. this is why i, along with 48 of my house colleagues, is calling
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for an investigation into the extent of justice kagan's involvement in defending obamacare, and if it warrants her recusal from any and all obamacare cases that may come before the high court. it is imperative for americans to have confidence in the impartial yalt of the supreme court. americans -- impartiality of the supreme court. americans deserve to know the truth about elena kagan's involvement in obamacare. how can any person believe she is impartial when cases involving obamacare comes before the high court? furthermore, the u.s. code section 455, title 28, says she must recuse herself. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota. >> mr. speaker, i ask to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to express my frustration that i feel that the continuing budget impasse
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in minnesota. minnesota faces the biggest budget deficit in its history and with it comes a responsibility to govern and a cautionary tale for this body. a government shutdown at any level is not only detrimental to any economy but it's hazardous to the progress of our society as organizations are put at risk. like many of the citizens of southern minnesota have written to me about this shutdown, i am concerned about the working families who receive childcare assistance, disabled minnesotans who rely on state services to improve their quality of life, roads who are unrepaired and campgrounds being closed where families can't spend time together. a gentleman approached me in stuartville on the fourth of july parade. he asked me if i was working this week and i said yes, i am. he said, i wish i was. in minnesota, that means both the governor and the legislature needs to
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compromise. we need to put politics aside, put minnesota first. the same applies to this body. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> well, mr. speaker, you can hardly turn on the transportation or radio these days without mearg about our nation's debt crisis. and the reason we find ourselves in this crisis is not because washington -- is because we tax too little, rather, it's because washington spends too much. raising taxes on america's job creators, as some here in washington suggests, won't open closed factories, won't stimulate our economy and won't put our neighbors and friends back to work. what we need and what the american people are asking us to do is to see that government lives within its means. over the past few years, hardworking americans across this country have tightened their belts and lived within their means and cut back on spending and there's no reason that their government can't do the same thing.
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it's often been said it's not in the federal government's nature to shrink and i think here in washington our colleagues should work to prove them wrong by ending wasteful washington spending as a way to address our nation's budget deficit. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts. >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to draw people's attention to one of the great nice spots of what's happening in the world today. there are not many, there is at least one happening right now in africa. tomorrow we will welcome the newest nation in sudan. this is a country that most of us probably never heard of. i certainly didn't until a few years ago and i heard about it because of the atrocities that were happening there. it is born out of 20 years of internal civil war. 20 years, not from outside forces like this country likes to do in iraq and afghanistan. they did it themselves on their own. mr. capuano: i want to stand up here today and tell them
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congratulations, to welcome them to the community of nations and to tell them that i for one, and i believe this house will stand with them as they struggle to make sure their new democracy is successful. they have a lot of threats on every border. they have a lot of internal issues. they're incredibly poor country with a lot of challenges. but as the greatest democracy in the history of the world, we have an obligation to stand with them as they build their new democracy. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey. >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> mr. speaker, the people of south sudan have endured two decades of wanton violence, rape, torture and hunger, systematically imposed upon them by the khartoum. mr. smith: four million people displaced and countless families disamated. the comprehensive peace agreement of 2005 ended the war and put south sudan on the path to nationhood. tomorrow in the people of south sudan emerge as the newest
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nation on earth. tomorrow when that dream is realized, americans will join the people of south sudan in celebrating this extraordinary hope-filled event. yet, recently at least 100,000 sudanese have been displaced from one area and tens of thousands of southerners living in another state have been recently forced from their homes, some of them murdered. so there are serious remaining challenges. nevertheless, we hope and we pray that the people of south sudan will finally live in peace, respect for their basic human rights and freedom. yield back the balance. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from colorado. >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. polis: mr. speaker, i rise today to discuss h.r. 268. america has not had a more pro-israel president than president obama. the president has unwaveringly ensured they protected their
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citizens and worked to prevent a nuclear iran. the president understands that essential to israel's security and united states security is a negotiated resolution to the israeli-palestinian conflict creating a lasting peace. the president's call for a negotiated resolution to the israeli-palestinian conflict is the pro-israel position that's absolutely essential to ensuring our ally's future. we should take an opportunity to be honest what the president did and didn't propose. they didn't say we should refer to the 1967 orders. the borders of israel and the palestinian state should have the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, a concept which is being considered a given in all the serious solutions. while fostering divisions serves the political interest of some, it's not in the larger interest of israel, palestine or the united states. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from michigan. >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. mrs. miller: mr. speaker, for the last 2 1/2 years, president obama and his allies in congress here have been on a spending spree which has led to deficits of $1.4 trillion and a national debt that exceeds $14 trillion. the republicans have drawn a line in the sand and said enough. we've changed the culture here in washington from how much more are we going to spend to how much we're going to cut. we passed a responsible budget which focuses on getting economic growth going and on new jobs, a budget that would put us on a path to prosperity and also to fiscal sanity. and today's anemic jobs report with unemployment rising again, now to 9.2%, shows we have so much more to do. and the idea of job-killing tax increases is absolutely a nonstarter. i'm proud that our republican negotiators that have been in negotiations with the president and the democratic leadership are standing strong over increasing the debt limit with a strong focus on jobs. and i hope that the president
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and the democrats will finally join us in getting our fiscal house in order and for the sake of the american people, mr. speaker, let's get the jobs done. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota. >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker -- mr. ellison: mr. speaker, yes, the june's jobs report is not encouraging. 18,000 jobs added. but i cannot ever forget that it was january, 2009, when we lost 741,000 jobs the last month of the bush presidency. under president obama, we have added jobs. we have not aed enough, but they have been adding. the american people should know we need about 150,000 jobs a month in order to push the unemployment rate down. because we added jobs but not enough, the unemployment rate has gone up.
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but the most important thing for the american people to know, that the republican promise to make jobs the first agenda during election, has not been fulfilled. they have yet to introduce or pass through this house one single jobs bill. not one. all they've done is cut jobs, mostly by going after public employees. and this is what the american people immediate to bear in mind as they think about who is on their side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? >> by direction of the committee on rules irk i call up house resolution 240. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 340, resolved, that at any time after adoption of this resolution, the chair may declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill h r. 1309 to extend the
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authorization of the national flood insurance program, to achieve reforms to improve the financial integrity and stability of the program, and to increase the role of private markets in the management of flood insurance risk and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. yen debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided between the chair and ranking member. after yen debate the bill shall be considered for amendment urn the five-minute rule. section 2-a. it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule, an amendment in the nature of the substitute. the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as rad. all points of order against the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute are
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waived. bmbing, no amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be ined or every ep except those printed in the committee on rules accompanying this resolution and amendments en bloc considered in this resolution. c, each amendment printed in the report of the committee on rules shall be considered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to demand for the division of the question in the house or the committee of the whole. d, all points of order against the amendment of the committee on rules or amendments en bloc are waived. section three, it shall be in order at any time for the chair of the committee on financial services or his dez i ig knee
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tufereeams en bloc consisting of amendments prinned in the report of the committee of rule -- on rules not earlier disposed of. amendments en bloc shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for 10 minutes equally divide and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on financial services, or their designee, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to division in the house or the committee of the whole. section 4, at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment, the committee hall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. any member may demand a separate vote in the house on any amendment adopted in the committee of the whole to the bill or to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute. the previous question shall be
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considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except, one, motion to recommit with or without instructions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one hour. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. for the purposes of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minute to the gentleman my colleague and friend from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, spend chg i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. sessions spb all time is yielded for purposes of debate only. i ask thams consent that all members have five lennell slate daves to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sessions: house resolution 340 provides for a structured rule of 1309. it allows for 25 amendments submitted by democrats and republicans to be made in order. i rise today in support of this
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rule, mr. speaker. this legislation was introduced by the chairwoman of the subcommittee on insurance, housing and community opportunity, mrs. biggert, the gentlewoman from illinois, and this bill has gone through regular order. there were hearings on this issue, h r. 1309 was marked up in financial services committee and reported out by unanimous vote of 54-0 and the chairman of the rules committee, the gentleman from california, mr. dreier, provided a structured amendment process with 25 additional amendments to be considered on the house floor. said another way, mr. speaker, the rules committee, under the leadership of david dreier, is willing to have in ourup stairs committee room members of congress come and testify with the understanding that their confidence in the process of this house of representatives, that they can bring forth their amendments, be heard by rules committee that can equally give republican and democrat sides the ideas that those members
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wish to bring before this body and that is what is happening with 25 amendments being made in order by the gentleman from california with the rules committee. today, i will discuss the background of the current national flood insurance program or nfip. and why a long-term re-authorization is important. what the underlying legislation does to the nfip and why reforms are necessary. the nfip was created in 1968 to address the nation's flood exposure and the need to alleviate taxpayers' responsibility for flood losses paid out in the form of post-disaster relief following annual flooding that occurs across this country. in 1973, the flood it's aer protection act established a mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement for structures located in
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identified special flood hazard areas. by 1994, congress required lenders to purchase coverage on maff of and to bill premiums to mortgagees who failed to purchase coverage on their own. the 2005 hurricane season resulted in significant claim which the nfip annual contributions could not cover so the nfip, boar -- the nfip borrowing authority, which was at $3 billion a year, was increased three times in 2005, 2006, and 2007, allowing them to borrow up to $20 ppt billion. currently, they owe the national treasury $17.75 billion. a recent insurance journal article from march 8, 2011,
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discusses this plan and it stated, and i quote, the proposals do not attempt to put the program on sounder financial foot big insisting that current subsidized prices to most policies be raised so they eventually cover the actual cost of risk determined by the actuarials. end of quote. the underlying bill allows for greater accountability so taxpayers, meaning the federal government, actually incur less risk than current nfip. limiting the exposures for the taxpayer is one piece part of what this bill does. the legislation we're discussing today re-authorizes the nfip for five years through september 30, 2016. the current program is scheduled to expire on september 30 of this year. the last time congress passed a
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long-term flood insurance program was in 2004. since its expiration in 2008, the nfip has extended -- been ex-tened 11 times and lapsed three times in that period. these short-term extensions and lapses create needless uncertainty in the marketplace and an already struggling residential and commercial real estate market all across the united states. charles samington was quoted in a recent industry insurance journal stating that, an i quote, the five-year extension of nfip after several years of short lapses and last-minute renewals is critical because it gives the marketplace certainty. end of quote. mr. speaker, i believe charles is correct. the congress of the united states must do its job by
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looking at those programs, looking at their need to make sure they work properly and to make sure the exposure to the tax payer is not over extended. charles samington has this correct. in addition to providing much-needed re-authorization, this bill extends to the nfip to ensure the near-term fiscal and administrative health of the program. it also ensures nfip's continued viability by encouraging broader participation in the program, eliminating unnecessary rate subsidies and updating the program to the needs that currently face this great nation. since 2006, the nfip has been cited by the government accounting office or g.a.o. as a high-risk government program. this means that embedded within this program, it is not being
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run to the best benefit of not crust its mission statement but also in the best interest of the taxpayer. the g.a.o. has found that the nfip does not charge significant -- sufficiently high rates to cover its claims obligations and projected future losses resulting in significant federal expenditures and potentially large liabilities on top of the $17.75 billion that the program is already in debt to. two, protect the american taxpayer from future risk of federal programs already in debt. the nfip must be reformed. and that's why we're here today. the underlying bill provides for some of the necessary forms and certainly we don't have to debate this, but with a $14 trillion deficit and out of control, wasteful, washington government spending, congress must provide the necessary oversight and accountability to
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ensure less taxpayer risk. i encourage my colleagues to vote yes on the rule and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: thank you, and i thank my colleague from texas for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: this is one of the rare occasion when the gentleman from texas and i afree on something. while this rule is not an open rule, an i don't think that we've had an open rule on authorizing bill since this congress began, the gentleman is such a good guy i'm not going to make a big deal of that. there's 25 of the 30 amendments that were offered made in order so i think we will have a good debate. the rule before us today provides for re-authorization of the national flood insurance program through september 30, 2016 this program was
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established in 1968 in response to increasing federal government spending for disaster relief. the nfip was intended to alleviate some of the public's financial burden because the government covered losses generated by floods in the form of disaster relief payments. with the increase of severe weather in the past few years, the need to re-authorize this program before it expires on september 30 is great. the national flood insurance program housed within the federal emergency management agency has become financially strained following severe hurricanes, including katrina in 2005, which significantly increased insurance claims. in addition to extending this bill for an additional five years, this bill also includes a three-year the lay of mandatory flood insurance purchase rimplete as a result of the new updated flood maps this will allow our constituents to be located if their home is now at risk of flooding an purchase insurance accordingly by requiring annual
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notifications to homeowners living in flood sopes about the risk in their community, the geographical boundary they was flood zone, the requirement to purchase flood insurance and a yen estimate of what similar homeowners in similar communities typically pay for flood insurance this bill also provides optional coverage for additional living expenses incurred by homeowners when losses from a glad make their home unfit to live. in for business and commercial properties this bill provides optional coverage for losses resulting from any partial or total interruption of the insurance business caused by flood. mr. speaker, we saw a massive -- we saw massive devastation to the southeastern part of our country in 2005 but we also see the -- saw the resiliency of the american people. it's no easey task to rebuild you are your life from the ground up. realizing that having flood insurance can keep families from financial ruin, this bill
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allows families to play flood insurance premiums in installmentment it will also help our local communities prepare for the worst by authorizing the use of community development block grand funds for communities to reach out to homeowners about flood insurance rates, mapping and inclusion in flood zones and by authorizing localities to use community development block grant funds to supplement existing state or local funding for building code enforcement . it gives communities the tools they need to prepare, protect and rebuild. mr. speaker, i'm pleased that the rules committee made in order my amendment to h.r. 1309. i'd like to thank the committee for working with me to make this important amendment in order. my amendment is simple. if fema makes a mistake in designing a flood map, communities can be reimbursed for the cost of mounting the successful challenge. currently, communities that dispute fema's flood elevations can hire a private engineering firm to get a second opinion flood map. while this may sound like an
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attractive option, it puts a lot of the smaller communities in a very difficult financial position. hiring a private engineering firm is expensive and cost prohibitive for many small communities. on the one hand, if the community decides it's too expensive to get a second opinion, homeowners are forced to pay higher or in some cases needless flood insurance premiums. on the other hand, if the community does mount a successful challenge to the original fema map, homeowners are spared from having to pay the higher flood insurance premiums, but the town still must pay the cost associated with obtaining that second map. now, i heard from many small communities that are forced into this tough situation, including the town of hollister, massachusetts, which is in my district. there is substantial evidence to support the argument that the fema map is incorrect but county officials are struggling to pay the $30,000 it will cost to conduct a second engineering study.
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i feel for these town officials. they want to do the right thing and help their residents, but these small towns are already cash strapped and cutting funding left and right for essential services like schools and police and firefighters, not to mention infrastructure. there simply is no money for a legitimate but expensive second opinion map. if fema makes a mistake in mapping a flood area they should pay for it and i encourage my colleagues to support my amendment. mr. speaker, this bill has proved that congress can work in a bipartisan way. passed out of the house committee on financial services 54-0 this bipartisan bill is timely with hurricane season just around the corner. it's also important to add that the congressional budget office estimates enacting h.r. 1309 will have no net impact on direct spending over the 2012-2016 or 2012-2021 periods. i want to commend my colleague from illinois, mrs. biggert, for her leadership on this and for working in a bipartisan way in producing what i think is a
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good bill. i look forward to working with her to make sure this is passed. and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i'm pleased to have a very valuable part of our republican team today, a gentlewoman who has taken hundreds of meetings and who led the way in what i believe was to better the circumstance with the flood insurance program. she is from the financial services committee, she's the chairwoman of the subcommittee on housing, insurance and other affairs and i yield five minutes to the gentlelady from illinois, mrs. biggert. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. mrs. biggert: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in support of the rule for h.r. 1309, the flood insurance reform act of 2011. i'd like to thank mr. sessions for introducing and managing this rule, rules committee
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chairman dreier for scheduling floor time. the financial services committee favorably reported, as has been said, the flood insurance reform act by unanimous vote of 54-0. this bill is important and reflects the hard work and bipartisan support of the financial services committee. it would re-authorize for five years the national flood insurance program, nfip and enact a series of reforms designed to improve nfip's financial stability, reduce the burden on taxpayers and explore the ways to increase private market participation. to improve nfip's financial stability, the bill phases in actuarily sound rates for policyholders. in doing so it will help to shore up nfip and allow to pay down the $17.75 billion debt to the taxpayer. it also increases the minimum deductibilities for properties while at the same time gives
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homeowners more flexibility in how they pay -- they can pay for their flood insurance. according to c.b.o., the combined effect of these and other changes would bring an additional $4.2 billion of net income to nfip over the next 10 years. perhaps most importantly, h.r. 1309 eliminates a barrier to the development of a private flood insurance market and puts us on a path towards a long-term plan for flood insurance that eliminates taxpayer risk. first, it requires lenders to accept non-nfip-backed flood insurance coverage provided by a private entity if it meets all the same requirements of nfip-backed flood insurance. and second, fema is required to solicit bids from the private sector and report to congress on the cost to the private sector, not to taxpayer, of varying the risk of flushes.
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finally, the bill addresses many of the concerns that members raised to us about new maps, as it relates to dams and dessertifications. it allows newly mapped communities facing higher rates annually and up to three years to request that fema suspend the requirement to purchase flood insurance while they work to construct or fix their flood insurance -- flood protection systems. with the nfip's authorization set to expire in september, it's critical that the house act to pass this bill as soon as possible. doing so will give the house and senate time to begin a dialogue and shape a commonsense reform measure. in short, we fully intend to avoid a recurrence of what happened last congress when the program lapsed causing turmoil in the recovering housing market and was simply extended without reforms. congress cannot continue to
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kick the can down the road. with that, again, i thank mr. sessions and the members of the rules committee. i'd also like to thank all the members from both sides of the aisle that helped to craft this bill. i'd like to thank my colleagues on the financial services committee for their work on this bill. especially, ms. waters, mrs. capito, mr. garrett, mr. dold, mr. stivers who are original co-sponsors of this bipartisan bill. i urge my colleagues to support the rule for h.r. 1309 and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i'd like to yield four minutes to the gentlewoman from california, ms. matsui. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for four minutes. ms. matsui: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 1309, the national flood insurance reform act of 2011. a full five-year re-authorization of the program is critically important for our nation. i want to thank and commend chairwoman biggert and ranking
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member waters for their leadership on this issue. ushering in a five-year re-authorization will provide welcomed relief for those who live in our country's floodplains. i thank chairwoman biggert for including language from my own, h.r. 902, legislation that will modernize fema's flood insurance legislation. it will take local, state and federal funding into account when determining flood zone designations. h.r. 1309 would extend the national flood insurance program, nfip, for five years, and allow property owners in participating communities to purchase protection against flooding. as we have seen across our country, this year and in recent years, the nfip is critically important to so many americans. when a flood disaster strikes, the homeowners that have flood insurance can at least see
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their way through the crisis. the nfip offers the victims of floods the ability to make their lives whole again. of course, the best insurance against a flood is a strong flood protection system. in my hometown of sacramento, california, residents have taxed themselves hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for stronger flood protections. on one project in one basin alone state and local governments will have spent more than $300 million over the last five years on levee improvements. this has all been investment, i must point out, without acknowledgment of fema or funding from the corps of engineers. i am working tirelessly to change that and make sure that the federal government follows through with their commitment to this project. there is no doubt that the notomis basin, like most of
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sacramento, is at risk of flooding as it lays at the confluence of two great rivers. we know we must continue to build up our levees as well as carry flood insurance. fortunately the sacramento region is working with the army corps of engineers and the california department of water resources to implement an aggressive levee improvement plan to achieve a 200-year level of flood protection. while these efforts are ongoing, flood insurance has become mandatory for many homeowners. insurance that can cost more than $1,350 annually. that is nearly four times the p.r.p. rate. the increasing cost of flood insurance which is on top of the annual flood protection assessments that my constituents are already paying compounds their financial burden. for these reasons i believe that it is reasonable to phase in higher rates over a
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five-year period. i have an amendment that i will offer during debate on the underlying bill that will phase in the full cost of flood insurance policies in a more equity way moving forward. i believe that this is a necessity that will assist homeowners in these trying economic times. i look forward to its being included in the overall legislation. this will require responsible homeowners across the country to continue paying into nfip without adding risk to either the floodplain or the nfip. again, i thank chairwoman biggert and ranking member waters for their leadership on this legislation, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: thank you very much, mr. speaker. you know, mr. speaker, the beautiful part about the republican party is we have a whole bunch of members who are just like the gentlewoman that i'm going to extend time to in a minute to come to the table
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as friends of the taxpayer, who come and look at bills and re-authorizations of legislation from a perspective of what is the government's role, what should be the government's role and how do we engage with the american people to keep these programs not only where they can sustain themselves but also whether the taxpayers is well taken care of. i'd like to yield to the gentlewoman from shelby township, michigan, the gentlewoman, mrs. miller. the speaker pro tempore: the woman is recognized for three minutes. mrs. miller: i live in harrison township. i appreciate that, though. i certainly rise to support this rule, mr. speaker, but i am strongly, strongly opposed to the underlying bill, the national flood insurance program. and i would start with this basic premise. why in the world is the federal government even involved in the flood insurance business? is that our core purpose of the federal government? it's ridiculous.
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this program was started in 1968. the government began writing policies in the early 1970's. and to no great surprise, the federal government is doing a lousy job of being in the insurance business. this program is currently over $17 billion in debt, and now we need to raise the debt ceiling on this program to about $25 billion. and recently the fema administrator testified to congress that the flood insurance program, no great surprise, is likely to stay in debt, massive debt forever. and it's easy to understand why. because this program is not actuarily sound, and because the government can be treated apparently as a bottomless pit of money so we need don't need to base the premiums on any normal base evaluation. in fact, we actually encourage people to build in flood-prone areas that repeatedly flood. and just consider this one
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statistic. only 1% of the properties in this program are considered to be repetitive losses. 1%. yet, that 1% accounts for 40% of the claims because they repeatedly flood and the federal government subsidizes them to reconstruct. at a time of extreme financial distress for our nation, the federal government is subsidizing flood insurance. why? if it's so great, why don't we start a fire insurance program? how about a wildfire insurance program? how about an earthquake protection program, insurance program? the truth is, mr. speaker, if we have a natural disaster in our country, this congress, americans, will always stand up and help that part of the country, that area of the country that is suffering. we will always help our fellow americans. well, this program may have been well-intentioned at the beginning, but it has evolved into something that is unrecognizable any more. and if we ever truly want to
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downsize, to right size government, the federal government, we just can't be nibbling around the edges of reforming a program that is ridiculous at its very core. we can't be reforming useless government programs. they need to be eliminated, and i believe that the national flood insurance program is a waste of taxpayers' dollars. it's a boondoggle. it needs to be eradicated. so, mr. speaker, again, i do support the rule but i obviously am very, very opposed to the national flood insurance program that is not the business of the federal government. we need to get out of that business. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgoverpblg: -- mr. mcgovern: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: it's my understanding that the gentleman is through at this time?
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thank you. i would like to yield to the gentleman from hood river, oregon, mr. wallen. the chair: the the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. walden: i appreciate the work of mr. sessions an the rules committee in bringing forth this rule, which i support, and i appreciate our colleague from illinois, mrs. biggert, for introducing this legislation and working with me on some issues that are critically important to the people of eastern and southern oregon and frankly all across oregon, especially in places like milton freewater, oregon. there, citizens are paying hundreds of dollars more in flood insurance because fema did a remap process. it's put a burden on the community. the community has set in motion a plan to fix the levees that fema has said don't meet certification this could bring relief from mandatory insurance while the community works to
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improve levees. it will also force fee that to factor in this protection offered by levees regardless of certification status. there are a couple of issues -- of agencies fighting over whether brush should be allowed to grow on the levees. people many milton freewater get stuck with the bill. these common sense steps and others in the bill will provide the relief milton freewater is in desperate need of. these changes will, according to one county commissioner, benefit more than 2,000 people in the community. in southern arkansas, citizens in jackson county have been recently -- have been aders arely impacted by recently redrawn fema mood maps. fema admitted they used infooror mapping methods for some portions. it forces many citizens into
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500 or 1500 -- or 100 year flood mains. they have to buy costly insurance they may not mean. it runs $100 a year for the first year or two, but then it jumps to $50,000 -- to $5,000 annually. homeowners shouldn't get stuck with this bill, these extraordinary costs, when it may be a mapping area when the agency admits they used infooror methods. they reinstate the technical mapping advisory council. this bill works to bring the national flood insurance program out of the red while allowing communities more local input on their flood plans and
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time to adjust should they be designated a high risk area. i urge my colleagues to approve the rule and the underlying bill so we may change this program in a fiscally -- fiscally responsible and born way. the speaker: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i appreciate the gentleman from oregon coming to speak about this bill and also his strong leadership in issues that deal directly with our nation and to keep us fiscally sound. mr. speaker, at this time, i yield four minutes to the gentleman from lawrenceville, georgia, one of my colleagues on the rules committee, the gentleman, mr. wood yawl. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is -- mr. woodall. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. woodall: thank you. serving on the rule committees can be a benefit and a burden. there's been kind of a
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gentleman's agreement, from what i've read about the institution that if the committee of yours diction brings out a clever idea, they only bring out those clever ideas that they really like. and then leadership of the house, whichever party is in control of the house, then only allows those reported bills they really like to show up here on the floor of the house for us to debate. so when the rule committees gets around to considering amendments, maybe the only amendments that are allowed nibble around the edges but don't take substantive changes to the underlying bill. five months, six now, i've been here in the u.s. house of representatives as part of this freshman -- freshman class and what we're doing today excites me. folks who have been here longer, maybe it's not as exciting to you as it is to me. what's happening today, not only did we get a bill going through the regular order process, went through the amendment process in committee, everybody got a vote, in fact it was reported unanimously out of committee, as i understand.
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then it came to the rules committee. we had about 30 amendments offered up at the rules committee, a couple weren't germane, a couple were duplicative, but everything else we allowed. and one of those amendments was an amendment that said, this is just a dumb program, let's scrap it, send it to the states and start over again. wow. wow. there are a lot of amendments we allow that say, let's change a six to a five or change this number of members to this number of members, things that would improve a bill, nibble around the edges but this rule today for the first time that i can recall, allows an amendment that says the entire nds lying legislation is headed the wrong direction, let's take a new direction. now mr. speaker, there are folks who would be scared about that kind of amendment. folks who would be intimidated to let something come to the floor. we have absolutely no idea what's going to happen.
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but this house has made a new commitment, a renewed commitment to expressing the voice of the american people an guess what? the only amendments they'll pass on the noor today are ones the american people are mind. the only amendments to pass the floor today are ones that represent the majority rule of this u.s. house of representatives. it makes me so proud. i hope, mr. speaker, for folks who don't follow the process as closely as you and i do, that they will see what a difference that is. and it's a difference from administrations going back two years, four years, eight year, 10 years, 12 years. folks say, if it's an idea that has the support of the house, that it deserves to be heard and we're going to hear all those amendments here on the floor today. mr. speaker, it's not easy to maintain that level of openness in the house. it takes a lot of cooperation between both sides of the aisle to make openness work. we've had that cooperation. and i don't mean cooperation in
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the sense that folksry agree on absolutely all the ideas. i mean cooperation in the sense that folks know that when the house works its will, the people's work gets done. when the house works its will, the american people's voice is best heard. i thank my colleagues on both sides of the isle for their commitment to making that work and i thank my friend from texas for yielding me the time this morning. i yield back. the speaker: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i want to advise my colleague we do not have any further speakers at this time and would wish to defer to his judgment on closing. mr. mcgovern: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i'm glad to see that the gentleman from georgia is excited. i'm not quite at that level. this is not an open rule. we had an opportunity to have an open rule. we called far vote, my friends
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on the other side of the aisle voted against it. but there are a lot of different amendment here's that represent a lot of different viewpoints so i'm ok with that it. i will begin by saying that. secondly, i want to tell my colleagues, this is a good bill. it is not a boondoggle as the gentlewoman from michigan referred to it. it is a necessary protection for people. the question was asked, why should the government be involved in flood insurance? up with of the reasons why is because the private insurance industry has no interest in providing the kind of coverage at an affordable level to people who need it. if there was money to be made if they thought they could make money, you can bet the private insurance industry would step up, you know, and try to fill in the void. but they haven't and they won't. and so without this, you know, you will end up dealing with these catastrophes with
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disaster relief funds that congress would have to approve and that's not a very efficient or good way to deal with the issue of floods. mr. speaker, i would like to point out that this is an important bill mot only because it is bipartisan in nature but i think there's a bipartisan consensus that it is important that we move forward with this. i am -- again, i want to commend mrs. biggert and the members of the financial services committee, i want to commend congresswoman maxine waters who worked together in a bipartisan way who produced a bill that passed 54-0. you don't see that very much. this has been a very contentious congress. there have been a lot of partisan divides when it comes to voting on bills. in this one area, there's consensus, which i think is an indication that it will win
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broad bipartisan support in this congress. so mr. speaker, i want to thank the gentleman from texas for bringing this rule to the floor. i want to thank all those responsible for the underlying bill and look forward to supporting it and i hope my colleagues at a bipartisan level will support my amendment, which i think is a good amendment. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i want to thank the gentleman from massachusetts, not only for his service to the rules me, but also to the ideas that we -- rules committee, but also to the ideas that he represents. i'm glad he had the opportunity to state with great clarity that the 25 amendments that have been made in order by the rules committee is good for this institution this body, and lives up to the promise not just that our speaker, the gentleman, john boehner, and our majority leader, eric cantor, subscribe to but also the chairman of the rules committee, the gentleman david dreier.
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mr. speaker, the bill we are discussing today provides a long-term certainty in the flood insurance market. it allows for greater transparency and accountability in the food insurance program. and removes or diminishes greatly the great risk that taxpayers incur from bailing out the current program. this country is facing a $14 trillion debt with almost $18 billion of that coming from the nfip. congress sorely needed to retain its control over this program and to ensure that we looked at it in this re-authorize, however -- in this re-authorization. however we still have a government that taxes too much and listens too little to the needs of the american people. today the republican party, through the leadership provided by mrs. biggert of illinois, is doing that, one at a time to take on the programs and needs of this great nation. once again this bill provides
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us much-needed long-term re-authorization and amends the nfip to ensure the immediate and near-term fiscal administrative health of the program. it also ensures that the nfip continued viability by encouraging broader participation in the program, increasing financial accountability, eliminating unnecessary rate subsidies and updating the program to meet the needs, the current needs of this great nation. i applaud my colleagues for introducing the bill. the gentlewoman, mrs. biggert, for her hard work. the hundreds of meetings that were involved, taking feedback if members of congress, looking at their needs and addressing those. i encourage a yes vote on this rule and move the previous questions on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the previous question is order. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in thepi